The Clinging Jellyfish is a tiny colourful creature that uses its tentacles to attach itself to ships and hitchhikes long distances around the globe.

Gonionemus vertens is a small species of jellyfish made up of a transparent bell around 2.5 cm in diameter. It has a set of brightly coloured gonads, a tan-coloured manubrium – or mouth – and 60 to 90 tentacles.
On the end of each tentacle is a pad that secretes an adhesive substance for clinging onto any available surface, which is where the species’ nickname, ‘the clinging jellyfish’, comes from.

It is believed that this ability has enabled the jelly to attach itself to ships and seaplanes which would explain the unusually wide distribution of this species.
With its origins in Portugal, and gradual occurrences in the western Pacific waters skirting China, Korea or Japan it end up in the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the United States and along the British and other western European coasts.

Strangely enough, when in the young,  polyp’s stage, the Clinging Jellyfishes populations have been reported as highly venomous in waters near Japan and Russia, but harmless in the Atlantic.

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